Sen. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., was protested against outside her Bronx office by actress Susan Sarandon on Monday. Sarandon reminded Ocasio-Cortez that she had made “a lot of promises” in the past, but had not followed through on them.
“I’m here to say to The Squad, and especially AOC, who, you know, did make a lot of promises, that we still have faith in you and we would like to see if you have a better plan than we’ve been able to see, please share it,” Sarandon said to a crowd. “If there’s a pathway you’ve got that we’re not aware of, please share it. Because we’re losing hope here that you represent us.”
As many as 30 million Americans lack access to healthcare. The crowd gathered to protest what they saw as a lack of action by The Squad.
“You campaigned on Medicare for All. But you didn’t demand a floor vote on it when you had the power to leverage the Speaker vote. You didn’t demand that single-payer be included in the pandemic recovery bill,” the petitioners wrote online, adding: “You moved the introduction of the House bill till after the stimulus bill passed reducing your own leverage. You have never demanded that Biden use Section 1881A of the Social Security Act to expand Medicare to every American by executive action.”
As a remedy, the petition demands that President Joe Biden declare a pandemic health emergency and “expand Medicare to every American using Section 1881A of the Social Security Act.” Back in 2020, Biden stated that he would veto Medicare for all.
Rep. Pramila Jayapal introduced H.R.1384, the “Medicare for All Act of 2019,” which would have provided a single-payer healthcare system to all Americans, who would be registered upon birth or residency. The plan also prohibits cost-sharing (deductibles, coinsurance, and copayments), requiring the government to fund all healthcare costs.
AOC sponsored the bill. The bill was submitted to a number of committees, with subcommittee hearings held in December. The bill, however, did not receive a floor vote, preventing it from reaching the Senate.
“It’s so difficult for people that are independent to get elected in the first place,” Sarandon said, “and then to see the very people that sponsored the bill not stand up for it, is very disheartening.”
Throughout 2020, Congress passed a slew of COVID-19 relief laws aimed at assisting Americans affected by the pandemic, albeit none of them included a broad Medicare expansion.
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